Within the 153-room Holiday Inn, Amici envelops diners in salmon-hued walls as they feast on freshly cut pastas and overflowing paninis. Rob Sigmund of Wild Duck Catering mans the helm of the spacious dining room, where upholstered banquettes, dark woods, and modern lighting fixtures create an atmosphere of contemporary comfort. After excavating a savory strata of lasagna, patrons can search for a wine finale on the outdoor patio or for mermen in the hotel’s swimming pool.
At Cozmic, the culinary team kneads organic flour made from local Willamette Valley wheat into crusts that are brushed with buttery extra-virgin olive oil. Then, they pile on toppings and set the pies to bake on 700-degree stones. The list of toppings—many of which are also organic, such as the apples—breaks traditional pizza boundaries by including unique options such as kale, and vegetarian meats, which offer an alternative to the eatery’s local sausage, smoked pork, and pepperoni.
These Jersey-Eugene-style fusion pies are the brainchild of Kirk Giudici, also the founder of Rising Moon Organics. When Kirk decided to embark on a second organic foods endeavor by opening a pizzeria, he found himself drawn to a vintage 1945 building that was an Edsel car dealership back when man didn’t travel only by hovercraft. While renovating the 4,000-square-foot auto display room, the same environmental principles that led Kirk to organics undergirded his decorating approach of using only recycled and repurposed materials. As a result, diners sip their homemade fountain sodas and Oregonian microbrews while perched at a bar made from a shuffleboard and lit with dryer-drum light fixtures from Kirk’s Laundromat.
The restaurant space, massive enough to have once housed a fleet of automobiles, enabled Kirk to create a stage dubbed The Edsel, which has attracted national acts such as Michelle Shocked, The Be Good Tanyas, and eight-time Grammy Award winner Marcia Ball. In addition to musical acts, the pizzeria’s calendar is full of events such as Science Pub, when tipplers learn about topics such as why it’s impossible to teleport your clothes along with your body.
Though images of collegiate and Olympic athletes adorn Track Town Pizza, the 100-seat pizzeria's true stars are back in the kitchen. There, the staff has crafted pies the same way since 1977, topping from-scratch dough with housemade sauce, fresh produce, and more than 20 topping combos.
Many of Track Town's specialties pay homage to the eatery's track-and-field theme, including the Pole Vault, whose vegetarian-friendly medley includes cooked tomatoes and roasted-red-pepper pesto. Others just celebrate rich flavor, such as the Beef Taco, a Mexican-inspired mix featuring refried beans, seasoned beef, chips, and enchilada sauce.
Specialties aside, Track Town's culinary team gives diners a chance to create their own recipe from nearly 30 toppings, including smoked oysters and banana wax peppers. Breadsticks, wings, and customizable salads round out the pizzeria's menu, whose edibles can be complemented with a quintet of wines, 11 draft beers, or a carafe of marinara sauce.
Green Papaya Organic Thai Café bequeaths bare dishes and vacant stomachs with gluten-free and dairy-free Thai cuisine using ingredients from local farms and vendors. Nestled within contemporary environs with marble floors and oversized portraits of bodhisattvas, diners can eat up Green Papaya's menu of delectable Thai delicacies. Coax appetites into being with starters such as the porpia sot which snuggles cabbage, carrots, lettuce, mint, cilantro, and basil in a rice-paper sleeping bag alongside a mighty triumvirate of peanut, apricot, and fig sauce ($6.95). Crunchy opaka tops crispy-fried snapper with ginger and tamarind sauce, arriving with an entourage of rice and papaya salad ($8.95 for lunch, $11.95 for dinner). Specialty dishes include thai sausages, slipping pork and thai spices into a swanky sausage-casing overcoat. Try the goon chiang for thai sweet pork sausage ($8.95 for lunch, $11.95 for dinner) or the uer prick gang featuring red-curry pork sausage ($8.95 for lunch, $11.95 for dinner), both escorted by rice and salad. Abate the fiery aftereffects of a spicy meal with coconut ice cream ($3.95), using coconuts plucked at the peak of freshness from Antarctic palm trees.
Specializing in East Coast–style pizza made with the freshest ingredients, Bambinos offers an extensive menu of primo pies and other casual comestibles in a fun, family-friendly environment. Whet your appetite with a savory sampling of garlic knots ($0.25 each), baked hot wings ($7.50), or Bambino’s wide selection of salads ($3.50 and up). Each of Bambino’s gourmet pizzas sets out in the world equipped with hand-stretched, homemade dough—available in traditional white or whole wheat—fresh tomato sauce carefully crafted according to a secret recipe, real mozzarella cheese, and the blessings and prayers of its delicious family and friends. With more than 30 toppings (locally grown whenever possible), Bambinos offers a circular concoction to please every taste bud, from the carnivorous charms of the six-meat mafia meat lover’s special ($18.50 and up) to Haley's veggie garden pizza ($17.50 and up). Guests with allergies to disc-shaped dinners can also opt for 7-layer lasagna ($9.50) or papa’s meatball sub ($7.25), oft enjoyed by mamas, uncles, and strangers posing as distant cousins. Bambinos brownie sundaes ($3.25) and slices of creamy cheesecake ($3) are available to indulge post-meal sweet-toothery.
No man is an island, but Mazzi's proves that an island can be a man's muse. Since 1970, founder Frank Ernandes has looked to his father's former home—Favignana, an island off of western Sicily—for culinary inspiration. His menu prioritizes authenticity in both flavor and preparation, relying on locally sourced ingredients and homestyle cooking methods to give entrees their rustic edge. Before being crushed into the house pesto sauce or edible confetti, basil leaves arrive from the restaurant's own farm. Tomatoes and vegetables reach the kitchen from other nearby harvests. And the bread, fettuccine, and sausage are all housemade.
Mazzi's design also recalls its pastoral island roots. Around a villa-like exterior, blossoms cascade from hanging flowerpots and water burbles down the stone steps of a fountain. Stained-glass depictions of vines and grapes spiral on the windows, looking in on the dining room and its two fireplaces—glowing fixtures that helped Mazzi's earn a spot on Yahoo! Voices' list of Eugene's most romantic restaurants. The venue is no stranger to awards for its food, either. In 2011, it won second place in the Register-Guard's Italian category and took the same spot in Eugene Weekly's The Best of Eugene 2012–2013.